, meanwhile, u.n. peace envoy brahimi arrived today for more talks with president assad. in his attempt to remain in power, assad has cultivated the support of minority groups athin his ethically divided country. elizabeth palmer saw that policy at work during a recent visit to the southern town of swada. >> reporter: conflict has engulfed syria over the past months from one end of the country to the other. but so far it barely touched this town in southern syria near the border with jordan. the people who live here are a religious group that has allied itself with president assad. good afternoon. when we arrived it in town to meet the governor, syrian state media was waiting for us. the regime is anxious to showcase this community full of official supporters willing to reinforce the party line, that the violence in syria is not a civil war but a terrorist campaign by foreign-backed extremists. so are you afraid they'll come here to your city. "of course we're afraid," the governor told me. "if the countries who support al qaeda and the jihadies don't stop, the conflict will come here."